General FAQs

What is the great Waddle of Worcester?

The great Waddle of Worcester is a free, sculpture trail through the streets, parks and open spaces of Worcester, lasting eight weeks, from 26th July to 15th September 2024.

It will feature painted penguin sculptures; 40 big and 40 small, as we celebrate 40 years of hospice care in Worcester.

Why a penguin?

If anyone knows that kindness is a superpower; it’s the penguin! Caring and compassionate by nature, you’ll see them in a huddle, looking out for each other, when the weather turns. In the hospice’s fortieth year caring for patients and loved ones across Worcestershire, the penguin feels like our perfect spirit animal.

We want our community to know that, just like the penguin, our huddle is here for those with a serious progressive illness and their loved ones experiencing loss, loneliness and bereavement. Together we can weather the storm.

What is the meaning behind big penguin Spirit’s name?

Penguins are some of the most loveable and loyal creatures on the planet. When the cold winds blow they know they’re better together; huddling close to look after their neighbour. In our fortieth year caring for patients and loved ones, nothing captures the spirit of St Richard’s Hospice better than these beautiful creatures.

Spirit has been created by artist Jess Perrin. His penguin suit features 40 hearts representing each of the hospice’s years of service. Other symbols on his coat mean:

• 373 stars represent patients cared for by our hospice at home team last year
• 247 diamonds represent the patients cared for on our in-Patient unit last year
• 282 circles represent those individuals supported with physiotherapy last year
• 138 moons represent the occupational therapy assessments we carried out last year
• 17 triangles represent in-Patient hospice beds

What is the meaning behind penguin chick Hoiho’s name?

Unique to New Zealand, the yellow-eyed penguin is thought to be one of the world’s rarest penguin species.

Their Māori name, hoiho, means ‘noise shouter’ and refers to their shrill call made at breeding sites.

Hoiho will be joined by 39 other penguin chicks for the great Waddle of Worcester. While Hoiho was created by artist Jess Perrin, his 39 fellow nestlings will be designed and painted by schools and community groups across the county.

Who is responsible for the great Waddle of Worcester?

The great Waddle of Worcester is a Wild in Art event brought to the city by St Richard’s Hospice.

Who are the project’s main partners?

The great Waddle of Worcester is supported by Presenting Partners; Crowngate, DRPG and Worcester City Council, Community and Education Partner; Worcester BID and Media Partners; the Worcester News and BBC Hereford & Worcester.

We have an opportunity for one more presenting partner to waddle with us in this fantastic project. There are a variety of partnership and sponsorship packages available to suit all budgets across different aspects and areas of the project.

Our team would be delighted to meet you to discuss this opportunity to align your business with one of Worcester’s best loved charities and help make a difference in our community for years to come.

Contact Sara Matthews – Business Development Manager at St Richard’s Hospice; [email protected] or 01905 958278.

How can I get involved?

The great Waddle of Worcester is about partnerships. It aims to bring together the business and creative sectors with local communities and schools, to celebrate the character of the area and its cultural identity. This world-class, large-scale public event will:

  • Provide a trail through Worcester city centre, parks and open spaces, encouraging thousands to become a ‘tourist in their own county’ and discover or rediscover their community
  • Increase awareness, footfall and visitor spend
  • Engage local and regional professional artists
  • Provide a unified platform for businesses and organisations to engage with their own communities and customers
  • Create an education programme for schools, using creativity as a learning device
  • Attract regional and national visitors to Worcester and the surrounding areas
  • Showcase the creativity of Worcester, its heritage, architecture and culture
  • Provide community engagement, fun and excitement!

To encourage full participation in this most exciting project and to help St Richard’s Hospice raise as much as possible, there are a wide range of sponsorship opportunities on offer. Each level provides a variety of benefits to suit your marketing, public relations and corporate social responsibility objectives.

Contact Sara Matthews – Business Development Manager at St Richard’s Hospice; [email protected] or 01905 958278.

Why should my business, organisation or group get involved with the great Waddle of Worcester?

Your sponsorship will help to:

  • Play an important part in animating Worcester and creating an unforgettable atmosphere in the county during the summer of 2024
  • Significantly raise brand awareness for your business in a unique and memorable way through long term exposure (12-18 months)
  • Showcase and bring footfall to your place of business
  • Demonstrate your own corporate creativity, engage your staff, customers and associates with your uniquely designed sculpture
  • Stimulate the economy. On average visitors spent £27 during their visit to Worcester’s Big Parade and visited an average of four times or more!
  • Benefit through association with your own ‘feel good’ stories in media, internal communications and trade publications
  • Create community engagement, pride and integration
  • Increase sales – 94% felt that WBP helped to promote their business to those in and around Worcester and 88% felt it had a direct impact on their organisation and revenue
  • Corporate social responsibility – support a local charity and raise significant sums for St Richard’s Hospice through the auction of your elephant at the end of the project

To encourage full participation in this most exciting project and to help St Richard’s Hospice raise as much as possible, there are a wide range of sponsorship opportunities on offer. Each level provides a variety of benefits to suit your marketing, public relations and corporate social responsibility objectives.

Wild in Art events are hugely popular wherever they take place, offering an excellent return on your investment whether that be staff engagement, supporting local initiatives or driving sales and footfall.

There is limited availability in each category, so we are standing by to get creative with you so we can ensure you get maximum benefit by being involved with the great Waddle of Worcester.

Let us ‘huddle’ and help get your business messages heard, drive customers to your door, create partnerships across the city and be part of this exceptional event.

Contact Sara Matthews – Business Development Manager at St Richard’s Hospice; [email protected] or 01905 958278.

What will be the economic benefit to the city?

Projects of this kind in similar sized cities have demonstrated an uplift in visitor numbers, increased spend, with people staying longer.

Worcester’s Big Parade success*

In the summer of 2021, Worcester’s Big Parade was the first opportunity for the community to reconnect. It brought together friends, families, colleagues and communities after months of covid restrictions. The parade created lots of fun, excitement, smiles and visitors to our city once more!

It also had a significant economic impact on Worcester.

  • 96% of visitors said the trail had inspired them to stay longer than usual in the city and almost half visited four times or more!
  • On average they spent £27 during their visit, with 40% spending over £40 in a single trip.
  • 72% said they explored parts of the city they wouldn’t normally visit
  • 56%+ said they posted on social media before, during and after visiting and it was the most common way people heard about the trail
  • 18,000+ paper trail maps were collected from outlets across the city
  • 94% of sponsors felt that the trail helped to promote their business to those in and around Worcester
  • 88% of sponsors believe Worcester’s Big Parade had a positive impact on their business
  • £368,800 raised at auction St Richard’s Hospice

* WBP Evaluation Project carried out independently my MEL Research – August 2022.

Who will pay for the penguin sculptures to be made and decorated?

All great big Penguin sculptures will be sponsored by different companies in the region and beyond, the penguin chicks will be paid for by different schools in the region or, a company has kindly sponsored a chick for them.

The great Waddle of Worcester is a full cost recovery project and its thanks to our partners and sponsors that we are able to put the trail on.

What is Wild in Art?

Wild in Art is the leading producer of spectacular public art events that entertain, enrich, inform and leave a lasting legacy. It brings together businesses and creative sectors with schools and local communities through the creation of uniquely painted sculptures.

Since 2008 Wild in Art has animated cities across the world including Manchester, Sydney, Auckland, Cape Town and São Paulo, and created trails for the London 2012 Olympics, the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Historic Royal Palaces and Penguin Random House.

Wild in Art events have:

Enabled over £23.6m to be raised for charitable causes

Injected £3.8m into local creative communities

Engaged over 1 million young people in learning programmes

Helped millions of people of all ages to experience art in non-traditional settings | @wildinart | #wildinart

Artists Programme

How are successful designs chosen?

There are two stages to the selection process;

Stage 1: the initial submissions will be shortlisted to 120 designs. Artists will be notified if their designs have been shortlisted to stage 2.

Stage 2: Sculpture sponsors will attend a selection event, where they will select their chosen design to adorn their sculpture.

Successful Artists will be notified following the Selection Event, which will take place in March 2024.

If successful, will I be paid?

If commissioned, you will be paid! There is an award of £900. Payment will be made in 2 instalments; 50% in March 2024 and 50% on return of the completed sculpture.

Some artists may choose to waiver this fee in support of St Richard’s Hospice, the beneficiary charity of the great Waddle of Worcester but this isn’t an expectation.

The Penguin Sculpture will be provided to you at no charge. However, cost of all materials, is your responsibility, with the exception of the varnish, which will be provided.

Where can I paint the sculpture?

Painting will take place in a public painting space located in Worcester City. Should you choose to paint your sculpture elsewhere, you will be responsible for associated collection and delivery costs, along with insurance.

When will I be required to paint the sculpture?

You will need to be available to paint a penguin for a period between Monday 18th March – Friday 3rd May 2024, allowing yourself enough time to complete the decoration process, varnish and drying time.

What happens to the sculpture after the trail period?

Following the trail event, the penguin sculptures will be auctioned in October 2024 to raise money for St Richard’s Hospice.

How do I find out more?

Full details of the Artist Programme can be found on our Artists Page. Please ensure you read our Artist Terms and Conditions before submitting a design.

Community & Education Programme

What is the Community and Education Programme?

Integral to the main event is the Community & Education Programme, which will open to all schools and community groups in Worcestershire in September 2023. We will invite schools, youth clubs, community groups and children’s services to get involved and share the amazing experience of the great Waddle of Worcester.

Penguin chick sculptures will accompany our great big penguins, exhibited in clusters within Crowngate Shopping Centre and selected shops within the city. The nestlings will complement and add value to the main great Waddle art trail, showcasing the creativity of groups within our community.

Once the waddle has drawn to a close, the colourful sculptures will be returned to their creators as a permanent legacy.

Applications for this scheme will open in September 2023, via a Ballot.

How does my school/ community group take part in the waddle?

Following unprecedented interest in our Community & Education Programme, we want to ensure our nestling nurturers are chosen in the fairest way possible. So, this time, schools and groups must enter a Penguin Chick Ballot, for a chance to take part in the Waddle.

What is the Penguin Chick Ballot?

The Penguin Chick Ballot is a random draw for schools and community groups, to be a part of the Community and Education Programme associated with the Waddle of Worcester Art Trail. The programme provides supported learning activities, alongside a Medium-size penguin chick sculpture, that will be a part of an art trail around Worcester City Centre in the summer of 2024. Following a Farewell Event at the end of the summer, the penguin chicks will return to the schools and community groups that decorated them, as a lasting legacy to their involvement in the Waddle.

There is no guarantee that your application will be successful. Entry into the Penguin Chick Ballot does not automatically entitle applicants to a sculpture, but to a place in the draw.

How do I enter my school/ community group into the Ballot?

The Ballot has now closed.

When will the Penguin Chick Ballot take place?

The Ballot will open on Monday 4th September 2023 and close on Friday 15th September 2023 at 5pm.

How will we find out if our school/ community group has been successful?

Successful applicants will be notified by email by 5pm on Wednesday 20th September 2023.

How are the successful Ballot entries selected?

Once the Ballot closes, entries will be checked for duplications to ensure only one entry per school/ group is entered into the Ballot. Each individual school/ group entry will then be assigned a unique number. These numbers will be entered into an online randomiser, which will select the successful entries.

What happens if you receive more than one entry for a school/ community group?

Only one entry per school/ community group will go into the ballot, however all those who entered that particular school or group will be notified by email.

If our school/ group is successful, when will we be invoiced?

Depending on the option selected on your Ballot form, will depend on when payment will need to be made, as follows:

Buy your sculpture outright, with no fundraising commitment. An invoice will be issued in September 2023, payable within 7 days.

Fundraising Pledge 
Commit to raising a minimum of £1,300 for St Richard’s Hospice (£650 by the end of January 2024 and £650 by the end of September 2024). If not enough funds have been raised, an invoice for the outstanding amount will be issued.

Sponsored by a third party
A business or individual can sponsor your sculpture on your behalf. An invoice will be issued in September 2023, payable within 7 days.

Are there other ways we can get involved if we are unsuccessful?

Yes, there will be lots of ways that your community will be able to be involved with the Waddle of Worcester!

We will be working on ideas and suggestions over the next few months and sharing these will everyone who has expressed an interest in the Community and Education Programme.

Whilst it won’t involve decorating a Penguin Chick for the trail itself, there will be whole school/group activity suggestions, so you can still feel very much a part of this city-wide initiative and fundraiser for St Richard’s Hospice.

If we secure a penguin chick, what are the next steps?

Community & Education Programme Timeline

8th February 2024
All participating schools and groups will be invited to a ‘Learner Programme Inspiration Event’. Schools and Groups will join a workshop, where we’ll showcase how to maximise learning, marketing, fundraising, exposure and engagement opportunities throughout the waddle. Each chick will be issued with a Learning Programme Pack which will include design inspiration for the penguin chick and guidelines for materials to use.

16th February 2024
Penguin chicks will be available for schools to collect from a location in Worcester City Centre.

16th February – 3rd May 2024
All penguin chicks are decorated by schools and community groups in readiness for the Waddle of Worcester. Decoration themes can be chosen by the school/group. Full details and ideas are within the Learning Resource Pack which will be issued with each penguin chick.

26th April 2024
Deadline for completing an online ‘Design submission form’ so we can create a plaque and include details of each penguin chick on the Waddle of Worcester website and app, as well as in other promotional material.

3rd May 2024
All sculptures must be returned, in readiness for the trail.

22nd July 2024
Official opening of the Waddle of Worcester Art Trail – 10am

22nd July 2024 – 15th September 2024
For 8 weeks, all penguin sculptures will be displayed around Worcester city centre, with chicks located within Crowngate Shopping Centre and selected shop windows/locations, forming a free public art trail.

September – October 2024
All the sculptures are brought together for one last time, at a ‘Farewell Event’, which is a ticketed event, open to the public. Visitors have the chance to say a final farewell, before the sculptures head off to their forever homes.

From 16th October 2024
All penguin chicks will be available for collection from a Worcester city centre location, where they will return to the schools and community groups who decorated them, creating a lasting legacy of involvement in the Waddle of Worcester.

Schools and Groups collect their penguin chick sculptures from a Worcester city centre location – by prior appointment ONLY.

The penguin goes home to the school/ group who decorated them, as a lasting legacy of their involvement in the Waddle of Worcester.

Whilst the large sculptures are auctioned in October, to raise vital funds for St Richard’s Hospice, to help us continue our care.

Trail FAQs

When is the trail on?

Monday, 22nd July 2024 to Sunday, 15th September 2024

Is the event free?

The trail is completely free and can be enjoyed over and over again, throughout the summer of 2024. However, there are lots of ways you can support St Richard’s Hospice throughout the trail period and beyond.

Who is responsible for the great Waddle of Worcester?

The great Waddle of Worcester is a Wild in Art event brought to the city by St Richard’s Hospice.

Where will the penguins be located?

The great big penguin sculptures will be positioned within a one-mile radius of Worcester city centre.

The chicks will be positioned throughout Crowngate Shopping Centre, and a few select shop windows throughout the city centre. Locations will be found on widely available trail maps or on the trail app which will be downloadable from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store nearer the time.

How long is the trail?

The trail is approximately five miles, using the route suggested on the trail map. This equates to around 13,500 steps and will take around two-three hours to complete.

How long will it take to complete the trail?

It will take approximately two-three hours to complete the full trail, following the map and allowing for selfies! You don’t have to complete it all at once and can break the route up into smaller trips.

How can I get hold of a trail map?

Trail maps will be available, for £1, from various outlets across Worcester city centre from 23rd July 2024.

Auction FAQs

Can I buy a penguin sculpture?

Yes, the large penguins will be sold at the charity auction in October – plus one very special penguin chick. The other nestlings will not be available to buy. They will be returned to either their communities or each of the schools who decorated them, as a memento following the summer’s event.

Can anyone bid for them?

Yes – the bidding process and all the details about the auction will be available nearer the time. We are asking those who would like to attend the event, or bid online, to register their interest via our website 

How will the auction work?

The auction will take place on Thursday 24th October. Following the trail, the sculptures will be refurbished by artists, bringing each of the sculptures back to excellent condition, before they go under the hammer.

When and where is the Live Auction?

Thursday 24th October 2024 at DRPG, Ikon Estate, 212 Droitwich Road, Hartlebury. DY10 4EU

What are the timings for the Live Auction?

Registration begins at 5:45pm with a drinks reception and food. The auction will start promptly at 7pm and we expect to finish at approximately 10:30pm.

How do I get a ticket for the Live Auction?

To register your interest visit

Once available, tickets cost £15 and are required to gain entry to the event.

What can I do if I can’t make it to the Live Auction?

Online bidding will be available. Visit for full details.

What is the guide price?

The reserve for each sculpture is expected to start from £3,000, so be prepared for some competitive bidding!

Previously the elephant sculptures sold for between £5,500 and £36,000 each, however prices realized could be higher and we expect popular sculptures to raise a significant amount for the hospice.

If a bid is successful, how to I pay for my penguin?

Payment is due immediately after the sale. Payment can be made by Via and MasterCard. Proof of ID will be required. Alternatively, we can issue an invoice for bank transfer and cheque payments (Live Auction bids ONLY). Sculptures will not be released until payment is received.

Will I pay VAT or commission on top of the hammer price?

The auction is a fundraising event for St Richard’s Hospice. There will be no VAT added to the auction value of each sculpture. There is also no buyer’s premium.

How will I get my penguin home?

You will have until 1st November 2024 to collect your sculpture. Details for this will be on your buyers invoice. A local courier will be present at the event to make arrangements for delivery, should you wish.

What size are the sculptures?

The big penguins are 1600mm tall and weigh approx. 30kg each. The penguin chick is 1000mm tall and weighs approx. 15kg.

What are the sculptures made from?

The penguins are made from a mixture of class II fire retardant laminating resin and chopped roving fiberglass over and initial brushed-on layer of gel coat.

Are the sculptures weatherproof?

The penguins have been outside on the trail for 8 weeks. They are happy being inside or outside, but may require annual maintenance to keep the paintwork/finish in good condition.

Can I buy a concrete plinth for my sculpture?

Unfortunately, we do not have plinths available to purchase. We can advise on anchoring solutions should you need it. Please contact Sara Matthews [email protected] for details.

Will my sculpture be insured?

All sculptures are covered by St Richard’s Hospice insurance whilst they are being held at DRPG (auction venue). On collection or after 1ast November 2024 (whichever is first) you are responsible for any insurance.

How much do you expect to make?

We’re hoping for GREAT things in 2024!

The great Waddle of Worcester builds on the hugely successful Worcester Stands Tall and Worcester’s Big Parade auctions in 2018 and 2021 which reached £210,000 and £368,800 respectively for the hospice.

Where does the money go?

The funds raised by the great Waddle of Worcester will help to fund the care provided by St Richard’s Hospice to patients with serious, progressive illnesses, their loved ones, and bereaved people across Worcestershire. The hospice relies on the support of the community for the majority of its income, with 20 per cent funded by the NHS.


What breed of penguin is the sculpture?

Our sculptures are Yellow-Eyed Penguins.

How will the penguin designs be chosen?

We will appeal for artists across the country to submit designs. Of the designs we received, 40 will be selected to become the decoration you will see for our large penguins, chosen by our sculpture sponsors. Schools and community groups have decorated all the chicks, using various means to select their chosen designs; whether that be whole group projects, competitions or selected individuals.

How big are the penguin sculptures?

The big penguins are 1600mm tall and weigh approx. 30kg each.

The penguin chicks are 1000mm tall and weigh approx. 15kg each.

About Sponsors Donate Contact